The introduction of a bill into the Victorian Parliament could pave the way for racing to be conducted in country Victoria on Good Friday.
Currently, racing is prohibited in Victoria on Good Friday and Christmas Day and up until 2017 were Victoria’s only race free days.
Victoria now boasts 17 days annually on which no thoroughbred racing is programmed and will next month conduct a race-free week with no meetings scheduled from July 26 through to July 30.
Racing Victoria and Country Racing Victoria is planning a feature race meeting that will be an annual destination event supporting tourism in country Victoria across the Easter long weekend.
The feature race meeting will rotate annually throughout regions of country Victoria with Benalla, Echuca, Sale and Wangaratta among the venues under consideration for year one.
The racing program for the Good Friday feature race meeting is under construction and will be anchored around a headline race.
Victoria currently hosts AFL, NRL and NBL matches on Good Friday, while thoroughbred racing is conducted in Western Australia and Tasmania on this day.
The Good Friday Appeal is currently the official charity partner of Victoria’s All-Star Mile with over $150,000 in race entry fees donated to the Appeal over the past three years by RV.
RV Chief Executive, Giles Thompson said planning was underway for a new raceday in Victoria.
“We’re excited about the possibility of creating a feature raceday that makes country Victoria a focal point on Good Friday for racing fans and provides another incentive for holidaymakers to venture into country Victoria over Easter,” Thompson said.
“We want this raceday to be a destination event for country Victoria, one that showcases different areas of our State through an annual rotation, thus supporting the different country communities that promote racing year-round.”